December 5, 2014Alistair Cook is set to miss the 4th ODI after being suspended for slow over rate in the last match. This can be seen as usual by some, especially those who are passionate about English cricket and have followed the series closely in Sri Lanka.
James Tredwell missed out and England went with five seamers in Steven Finn, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Ravi Bopara. England had Moeen Ali & Joe Root in the spin department but it still was a slow agonizing effort to get through the overs.
Cook in his post-match interview was put to the sword by the mic man about the over rate. He tried to wiggle himself out of it by stating the boundaries were massive and that it took forever to get to the crease as a new batter.
Cook has been under scrutiny since the start of the series. With many people questioning whether he deserves his spot in the ODI side in the first place.
Many experienced old heads have called for him to step down as ODI captain and told him to concentrate on his Test cricket.
With the World cup around the corner most cricketers in his position would be hanging on to their spots for as long as they can, so he himself cannot take the blame but questions of the board should be asked!
Cook doesn’t seem to see it that way himself, he still is adamant that he has plenty to offer the English side in the shorter format.
So is it fair to say that he would have been fully aware of his critics’. More so considering England didn’t keep to their allotted time in which they were given to bowl their 35 overs in this reduced fixture.
A ban surely would have been on his mind when he went out to bat and therefore he played a bit more fluently putting less pressure on himself in his knock of 34 off 42 balls. People will say does this still justify someone who has only one ODI 50 in his last 19 knocks?
Was this the only way for Cook to fade away at the top of the order?
Probably not, England came to try new things and experiment before the World cup. Cook wouldn’t have thought he’d be a talking point when he arrived.
He did look a little unsettled when batting and later on we found out that this was due to a sore back he has been nursing for a while. Although David Lloyd believed it helped him to keep himself still and upright.
It’s not something you can nurse for a period where games come thick and fast especially when you have fully fits players who are in form waiting in the wings.
So maybe we would have seen the younger guys get a go, even if Cook didn’t get a ban from the 4th ODI. Now we get a close up look at ‘attack from the off’ cricket the World around us seems to be adopting take shape in Alex Hales and Moeen Ali.
Does this pave way for James Taylor to take his sizzling domestic form into the 4th ODI? The public would really like to see him do really well in the game and then create that problem for the selectors.
Make sure you tune in for the 4th ODI in Colombo on Sunday morning.